HC Deb 22 March 1877 vol 233 cc328-9

asked the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies, Whether there is any foundation in fact for the rumours transmitted by Reuter's agency from Cape Town, and published in the newspapers of Tuesday last, that, in the event of riots ensuing in the Transvaal Republic in connection with its proposed union with the British Colonies of South Africa, Sir Theophilus Shepstone will establish a Provisional Government, and call upon all orderly inhabitants to support it, and in that case troops will probably be ordered to the Transvaal from Natal?


The communications from South Africa received at the Colonial Office make no mention of such rumours as those mentioned. Sir Theophilus Shepstone has received no instructions bearing on the contingency of riots in the Transvaal Republic, nor have any directions been given for the employment of troops beyond the frontiers of the Colony; although in the event of the lives of Her Majesty's subjects being endangered it would naturally become the duty of the Lieutenant Governor of Natal to take measures for their protection. It is, however, trusted that no such danger will arise; and. I must add as a caution—not to the hon. Gentleman, in whose case it is of course unnecessary, but to the public at large—that it is advisable to receive rumours from South Africa at the present time with great caution.